Chris Wallace tries to beat Steve Scalise into submission over impeachment

Fox News
(Video screenshots)

As if auditioning for a play, Fox News host Chris Wallace practically transformed into House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff as he grilled House Minority Whip Steve Scalise on Sunday over the ongoing impeachment hearings.

While the interrogation initially touched on the hearings that occurred last week, later in the discussion Wallace pivoted his attention to Trump administration official Gordon Sondland, who’s slated to testify on Wednesday.

It was during this portion of the discussion that Wallace allegedly “owned” the House minority whip by noting that the witnesses who’ve testified against President Donald Trump thus far are all current or former members of his own administration.


(Source: Fox News Sunday)

“If Gordon Sondland, who met with the president a half-dozen times this summer, testifies on Wednesday, yes, the president said to me, ‘we are not releasing the aid until they announce they are going to investigate the Bidens and Burisma,’ doesn’t that blow a hole in the president’s defense?” the FNC host asked.

Scalise replied by pointing out that never happened.

“Well, the president’s defense is that those things didn’t happen,” he said. “And it’s not just the president’s word. President Zelensky himself said that the aid wasn’t conditioned and there was no pressure.”

Fact-check: TRUE.

“And then because of some of these innuendos that you’re talking about, the foreign minister of Ukraine just a few days ago released another statement saying that there was never a link between aid and investigations,” Scalise continued. “And once again, there were only two people that participated in that phone call. It was Donald Trump and President Zelensky. Both of them were very happy with the phone call.”

Also true.

Wallace replied by crying that “a dozen people listened in on the phone call and a number of them were immediately upset because of what the president said.”

But as noted by the House minority whip, “Those were Schiff’s witnesses.”

“No, sir,” Wallace promptly fired back. “They are career foreign service officers and these are people who worked in the Trump Administration.”

The key word there was “career.” Though Scalise failed to point it out during the discussion, a slew of conservative commentators and pundits have argued that these “career” officials are “deep state” embeds whose hearts — while not necessarily evil — are most certainly not in tune with the current administration’s agenda.

Take former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whose tenure began during the Obama administration — and who made it clear in testimony delivered to Congress last week how much she dislikes the current president’s foreign policy approach.

As for the issue of alleged criminality, nothing Yovanovitch said Friday was relevant, according to Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows:

Wallace began his interrogation by citing claims from U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor’s aide David Holmes that Trump never cared about Ukraine — that all he cared about when he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the summer was launching an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

Scalise promptly disputed this claim by outlining the president’s track record in Ukraine.

“If that was the case, then President Trump wouldn’t have done all the things that he’s done to help Ukraine stand up to Russia,” he said. “And in fact, on the original Zelensky phone call that was released, President Zelensky was thanking President Trump for the things he’s done.”

Unlike former President Barack Hussein Obama, a Democrat, Trump provided Ukraine with much-needed lethal military aid.

Wallace pushed back by citing the fact that the Trump administration had temporarily withheld some financial aid this past summer. But as noted by Scalise, the aid was withheld for legitimate reasons.

“Part of what Congress appropriated [for Ukraine] had language attached to it that required the administration to make sure that Ukraine’s rooting out corruption, because there were elections during that same period,” he said.

In response, Wallace complained that Trump never used the actual word “corruption” during his call with Zelensky.

“But sir, both in the April phone call and in the July phone call, President Trump never mentions the word corruption. What he talks about his investigations. Investigations of the Democrats, possible interference in 2016. Investigations into the Bidens and Burisma,” he kvetched.

It’s not clear why he doesn’t recognize the link between wanting to root out corruption and wanting to initiate investigations into credible allegations of said corruption …

Listen to the first half of the discussion below:

Source: Fox News


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